The Encroaching World System
Followers of Christ are slowly becoming a rare commodity as the post-Christian era ramps up its downward spiral into oblivion. It is crucial that we are aware of where we are in history so we can respond accordingly as the Spirit leads us through the quagmire caused by the rapidly encroaching world system.
This age was prophesied in the word of God. The apostle Peter warns us with these words:
… knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:2–4). A great apostasy is approaching in which most people will reject God or anything about Him in favor of the false comforts of a dying civilization.
It has always been expected that the closer we get to the end of this age as we know it, the more an unbelieving world will mock and scoff and criticize those who know what is coming. They will stop believing in a Creator God and begin to believe in the god who leads them into “sinful desires.” In other words, they will do whatever they want to do regardless of how it affects others. This will usher in a time of lawlessness which will make way for the master of lawlessness to enter the scene and do what all dictators do — he will take advantage of peoples’ ignorance and demonstrate the ruthlessness of the enemies of God. He will show the world the final face of evil by coming in the spirit of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong and so many others who have been inspired by the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).
We are given a warning by the apostle Paul about this: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). We have two choices before us: conform or be transformed by the power of God. In the first choice we merely take a neutral stance and drift along with the world taking a compromising attitude. Like the teenager who says to his parents “everyone else is doing it” they will cast aside any personal standard of commitment and drift along at the speed of decomposition. The other choice is to by faith to open up to God and allow His Holy Spirit to transform us into His image. According to Paul, the person who invites this living transformation will begin to discern God’s will and learn to live in its protection.
The Greek word translated “world” here is the word for “age.” Each age brings its own spiritual pressures that bring us closer and closer to the end of it all. The age we now live in is shaping up like the terminal age of this old earth characterized by a final attempt by its god, Satan, to prove that his way of evil is better than God’s way of righteousness. People are buying into his lies by submitting to their desires no matter how that submission affects others. We’ve seen a dramatic increase in that kind of attitude in the last two years and I believe more is to come. God is rejected. Heaven and hell are rejected. Righteousness is rejected in favor of everyone doing what is right in our own eyes and the Bible is rejected as a source of truth. When heaven is rejected all of hell is unleashed. That brings violence in our cities, destruction, murder, rape, lying and stealing and an increase in crime of all kinds.
This leaves us with ourselves as the source of truth. We become our own god and do as we please regardless of the hurt we cause. Paul saw it all coming:
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people (2 Tim. 3:1–5).
So, we are in a war — two kingdoms warring against one another, one under the power of God and the other under the power of the one called the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4). Many of the countries of the world have abandoned God for this evil. Many organized churches have abandoned faith in God and have chosen to be their own god. The sin of the Garden of Eden is being reproduced before our eyes and it doesn’t end well.
The world is approaching a condition where it foolishly believes that its answers are higher than God’s. Its science has a better answer about the universe than the God who created it. Its great schools of learning think they understand race, gender and morality better than a Holy God. Its political leaders think they can lead better than the Great Shepherd Himself.
The standoff is emerging as I write. A scattered remnant of faithful is growing in real unity and spiritual strength even in the midst of the great apostasy all around them. They may be a last -days spiritual army who know their God and are willing to live and die for Him. Lines are being drawn. Sides are being chosen. The fence is not an option — it belongs to the enemy.
Choose this day whom you will serve before it is too late.